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Kathrina Teddar, from Westgate-on-Sea, died after falling from cliff near Sea Road

A woman who drowned after jumping to her death from a seaside cliff had been deemed "low risk" despite a separate suicide attempt a day earlier.

Kathrina Teddar, 29, was found lifeless by a passing walker at Epple Bay, Westgate-on-Sea, the day after being treated at the A&E department at Margate's QEQM, and later discharged by the hospital's psychiatric liaison service.

An inquest held at Canterbury Coroner's Court heard how the young woman, who lived in nearby Cuthbert Road, had struggled with borderline personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder since her teenage years and made numerous suicide attempts in the months before her death.

Kathrina Teddar
Kathrina Teddar

In a statement read at the court, witness Greg Anderson described seeing a small woman "standing against the wall" near Sea Road and looking towards Westgate and Birchington Golf Club shortly before Miss Teddar fell to her death on September 10, 2018.

His wife, who was with him at the time, called 999 after Miss Teddar was later found lying face down in the sand by another passerby, Alexander Middleton, who had been walking down the lower promenade.

Despite their efforts to revive her, later aided by an off-duty firefighter and the arrival of an ambulance crew, Miss Teddar was pronounced dead at 5.10pm and taken to the QEQM by undertakers.

The inquest was told by Stephen Blanford, a social worker at the Kent and Medway Partnership Trust (KMPT), how Miss Teddar, the third of four children, was born in Hillingdon, London and had "a traumatic childhood, during which she and her siblings experienced physical and psychological abuse".

Her father died from a drug overdose when she was only nine and her mother had struggled with severe mental illness, leading to the children being separated and taken into foster care.

Emergency services landing in Westgate-on-Sea. Picture: Harrison Wilson.
Emergency services landing in Westgate-on-Sea. Picture: Harrison Wilson.

She had been hospitalised at St Martin's Hospital, Canterbury, numerous times after self-harming and attempts to take her own life, both voluntarily and after being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

A post-mortem examination ruled the cause of her death to be drowning. She suffered scalp and chest injuries in the fall, and there was no evidence of any third-party involvement.

Speaking after the inquest, her brother, Mark Knight, 31, said that despite Miss Teddar having broken off contact in recent years, he remembered her as having been "fun loving, caring and having had a great sense of humour as a child".

"The police did what they could to save her. But I thought, personally, that the mental health teams could have done more," he continued.

An ambulance arriving at Epple Bay on the day of Miss Teddar's death. Picture: Harrison Wilson.
An ambulance arriving at Epple Bay on the day of Miss Teddar's death. Picture: Harrison Wilson.

"I don't want to name and shame, and nothing I say or do can bring her back, but if they had done something more, she might not have died."

Giving evidence, her sister Sabrina told how the two had last spoken shortly before Christmas three years ago, and at that point, she had seemed "upbeat and positive", and had been studying nursing.

Reaching his conclusion, coroner Alan Blunsdon said: "Given the history of her mental illness, numerous attempts at taking her own life, and her suicidal ideations, I conclude that the death was suicide."

A spokesman for KMPT said: "Our thoughts are with Kathrina's family and friends at this very difficult time.

"We try to involve carers, family and friends throughout the care we deliver and work hard to listen and take any action as necessary – ensuing we continue to give the very best care possible.

"We are more than happy to speak with Mr Knight if he would like to get in touch to discuss any concerns he may have."

For confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 116 123 or click here for help from Kent County Council.

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